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SHRA and Harbour News

Latest news items appear first on our Home Page. We welcome submissions of news stories or information on Harbour issues. Please email the web manager...


04 June - June Waterlines published - Our online newsletter, Waterlines, has been published. Click here to read it...
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31 May - Graffiti -
There have been reports of graffiti appearing in parts of the harbour. Incidents should be reported to the managing agents of the development and to EBC. Click here for EBC's graffiti reporting web site. Criminal activity should also be reported to the police.
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30 May -
Slips cause majority of coast water deaths, RNLI warns - Take Care -More than half of coastal deaths in the UK last year were caused by people tripping and falling into the sea, the RNLI has warned. Figures show 128 people died in the UK's coastal waters in 2018 - 115 of them men - with the majority falling in while out running or walking. About 55% of those were people who "ended up in the water unexpectedly", an RNLI spokesman said. Read more about this including advice on the BBC News site. www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-48443755
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29 May -
Harbour WI meeting note published. Click here...
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29 May - Notes of recent SHRA AGM published - t
hey include the Annual Report - you will find them on our 'About' page...
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28 May - Two new SHRA committee members.
North Harbour resident Susan Kerrison was elected to the SHRA committee at the recent AGM. After attending last week's committee meeting as an observer, South Harbour resident David Preager, also agreed to join the committee. We are delighted to welcome Susan and John to the committee.
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28 May -  New SHRA chairman appointed.
At last week's committee meeting, committee member Colin Smith who chaired the recent AGM was appointed as SHRA chairman. The vacancy arose after the previous chairman, Chris Mepham, decided to step-down through ill health. We are grateful to Chris for all the work he put in as chairman. 
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14 May - Local councillor elevated
- We are pleased that it has been announced that Cllr David Elkin, who represents Sovereign Ward on East Sussex County Council was today (Tuesday) elected chairman of the County Council. We offer David our congratulations.
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03 May - Two local councillors re-elected and Eastbourne's previous MP elected. In yesterday's poll, the following three Conservative councillors were elected to serve residents of Sovereign Ward on Eastbourne Borough Council. We send our congratulations to:

Councillor Caroline Ansell (elected)
Councillor Penny Di Cara (re-elected)
Councillor Paul Metcalfe (re-elected)

Turnout was 33.4%. Our local councillors and our East Sussex councillor, David Elkin, have been invited to attend the SHRA AGM on 15 May.


02 May - Our loss - New Cineworld Eastbourne to open its doors on Friday 12th July 2019. The state-of-the art, 8-screen cinema will open as an extension to The Beacon, following relocation from Sovereign Harbour Retail Park. Read more info by clicking the following link. www.thebeaconeastbourne.com/whats_on/


26 Apr - Pop-up Artisan Food Market at The Waterfront - On Saturday, 11 May 2019 to Sunday, 12 May 2019. 10am - 2pm. Click here for a list of stall-holders from the Premier website...


12 Apr - Proposed pop-up Cinema - letter to Premier Marinas - As we reported in Waterlines, we have received some verbal  assurances from Premier about this event.  We have now written to Premier to formally inform them of our concerns and to seek further information about the cinema event and further assurances about it. Click to read our letter...  We'll report back when we receive a response.


09 Apr - Rentcharge Letters. SHRA wrote to the Sovereign Harbour Trust in February requesting improvements to the rent-charge payment period, payment options and the details of the claimed expenditure. The Trust's board, that includes three resident representatives, considered our letter at their quarterly board meeting on the 29th March and have now replied to us. Click here to read our letter... Click here to read the response from the Trust...  Please let us have your comments - we think a response is called for.


08 Apr - Beach Work Update - From Ian Thomas, Project Manager Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd.  Although gales in early March did not threaten the beach crest, they caused substantial erosion to the beach just below the crest.  In many ways this was worse than usual because waves were more westerly than southwesterly, meaning that shingle was pushed further east more quickly.

 Recycling will restart today with dumpers moving shingle from Pevensey outfall to Sovereign Harbour. Some shingle is also likely to taken from the lower beach in the area of the kiosk as well.  We expect to work until Friday 12th and then stop for the remainder of the school holidays, with work beginning again on Tuesday 23rd April. By the end of the month it is expected that machines will work along many areas of the frontage making the final preparations for summer.


05 Apr - New edition of SHRA's newsletter Waterlines. The April edition of Waterlines is now available online. Click here...


04 Apr - Member's Letter Published - about litter at the Harbour entrance. Letters page...


04 Apr - Mr David Lewis  B. Arch MA (Historic Building Conservation) RIBA David Lewis-  We were very sorry to learn of the death of David Lewis, a SHRA committee member since 2017.  David passed away at St Wilfrid's Hospice on Sunday. Although he was unable to attend many committee meetings due to his declining health we were very grateful for his expert advice and thoughts on planning issues. David was awarded the Chartered Architect Heritage Consultant Expert of the Year 2017 by Lawyer Monthly magazine. The SHRA committee send their sincere condolences to all of David's family and friends.


02 Apr - A Harbour Choir Wanted - can you help? For many years several older members of the harbour have enjoyed a weekly choir in the Venton Centre near the station in town. Unfortunately, our choir master is now having to retire and the choir has folded. For many of us this was one of the highlights of our week. Now that we have a community centre in the harbour a few of us are wondering if there is a talented musician/piano player/ choir leader out there who would be willing to help us start a harbour choir - not solely for oldies but for all those who would enjoy a sing song once a week and share a social time together. Nothing onerous just total enjoyment. Anyone who is willing to lend a hand please contact Maggie on 471615.


31 Mar - Local art club announces exhibitions and sales. Brushstokes Art Club will be holding monthly exhibitions on Sundays (10am – 5pm) throughout the summer at Eastbourne Bandstand to showcase their work and offer art for sale at affordable prices. Dates are:
Sunday  -  21st April
Sunday  -  19th May
Sunday  -  30th June
Sunday  -  4th August
Sunday  -  25th August
Sunday  -  29th September
Click for poster...


29 Mar - Beach Work Update - From Ian Thomas, Project Manager, Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd. Plans for the next two weeks have changed slightly.  The total lack of wind and waves this week has meant that much of the shingle drawn down the beach in gales earlier this month is not being pushed back up into ridges along the high water mark.  Whilst this has not been a problem this week as tides have been favourable and we have been able to excavate lower down, it will not be the case next week when high water is in the middle of the day.  So next week will be just the bulldozer reprofiling and helping shingle back up the beach. Recycling will restart on Monday 8th April.  At the latest, work will then stop on Friday 12th until after Easter Monday (22nd), unless of course the weather dictates otherwise.  Hopefully any remaining shingle moving can be completed by the end of April.


23 Mar - Black Robin Farmer Facebook page - For those interested in the farming activities of EBC-owned farms, the new tenants of Black Robin Farm, Beachy Head have set up a Facebook page that contains posts about the new tenants themselves, the farm, the livestock on it (sheep and cows), and any works ongoing and future plans. The tenants of Black Robin Farm hope to engage local people that have an interest in the farm so hope they will follow or like the page to stay in touch. www.facebook.com/Black-Robin-Farmer-754412158291422/


21 Mar - Breitling Jets to Make Eastbourne Debut - News release. The world’s largest civilian jet display team, the 7-strong Breitling Jets will be streaming across Eastbourne’s skies this August, thanks to new airshow sponsor Ginsters . The world renowned French team will be bringing their magnifique headline act to Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow for the very first time, performing every day from 15 – 18 August.   The team of L-39 Albatross jets, led by one of the world’s most experienced pilots, Jacques Bothelin, are known for their close formation precision flying, often at just 3 metres apart, all while flying at speeds of over 700km per hour [and enjoying a Cornish pasty - fantastique!]. Photo...


21 Mar - Local elections in May - Eastbourne Borough Council remind residents that there will be local elections on Thursday 2 May 2019. If you are currently registered to vote by post. Postal ballot papers are due to be despatched on Thursday, 18th April 2019. However, due to the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, some postal ballot papers may not be delivered until Tuesday, 23rd April. If you wish to cancel your postal vote or change your voting arrangements, please call 01323 410000 or email elections@lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk for more information. If you have registered to vote you will receive an official poll card in the post in approximately two weeks. If you have any queries please contact the Elections Office at elections@lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk. Register to vote here: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote


20 Mar - House of Commons report critical of current leasehold system - The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee of the House of Commons has called for wide ranging reforms to the leasehold system in a new report. The Committee finds that the balance of power in existing leases, legislation and public policy is too heavily weighted against leaseholders. The Committee concludes that:

• It would be legally possible for the Government to introduce legislation to remove onerous ground rents in existing leases. Existing ground rents should be limited to 0.1% of the present value of a property, up to a maximum of £250 per year.
• The Government should revert to its original plan and require ground rents on newly-established leases to be set at a peppercorn (i.e. zero financial value).
• The Competition and Markets Authority should investigate mis-selling in the leasehold sector and make recommendations for appropriate compensation.
• The Government needs to ensure that commonhold becomes the primary model of ownership of flats in England and Wales.
• The Government should require the use of a standardised key features document, to be provided at the start of the sales process by a developer or estate agent.

If these proposed changes were fully implemented, it would be good news for all leaseholders. Unfortunately, the full changes are unlikely to be palatable to the present government, and for Sovereign Harbour leaseholders, much would depend anyway on how retrospective any new legislation is.

Click here to visit the Committee's web page with links to the summary and full report...   Or click here for a local copy of the full report...


16 Mar - Fisherman's Area - Announcement from company Gradient Consultants. "Gradient Consultants are excited to announce that we’ve been appointed as Project Manager and CDM Principal Designer for the construction of a new fishing quay at Sovereign Harbour in Eastbourne. Phase 1 of this project is the construction of a new two-storey building to fillet, store and sell fish, with further storage and offices on the upper floor. The works will begin on site in May 2019."


15 Mar - Enlarged Entertainment Area application REJECTED. EBC tell us that a decision has been made by EBC licensing to reject the application for a minor variation by Premier Marinas. Premier have been informed of this decision; they are within their rights to now submit a full variation to the licence if they so wish.


15 Mar - SHRA's comments to EBC on Proposed Enlarged Entertainment Area - we have submitted to EBC our initial comments about the proposal to extend the open-air entertainment area outside The Waterfront  Click here to read SHRA's comments...


Roger Green14 Mar - Mr Roger Green - we were very sorry to learn of the death of Roger Green, our vice-chairman, shortly after his admittance to St Wilfrid's Hospice. Roger joined the SHRA committee in May 2017 and we are very grateful for his help, support and contributions. The SHRA committee send their sincere condolences to Roger's family and friends. 


12 Mar - Urgent - Comments to EBC on Proposed Enlarged Entertainment Area  - Premier Marinas have submitted ”A Minor Licence Variation" application to EBC to increase the area permitted for outdoor entertainment at the entrance to The Waterfront. The new area will include the roadway (Harbour Quay) between the North Bridge and the pedestrian path, and part of the boat display area (Click here for an outline of the area based on the application).   Premier have stated they propose to hold live music events in the area and also an occasional pop-up cinema. Premier also plan to create an urban beach, a climbing wall and a children's play area. This Thursday 14 March is the closing date for representations on the application. With apologies for the tight deadline, anyone wishing to comment should quickly email: customerfirst@lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk stating "Minor Licence Variation Application Number 052054" and give the reasons for objection or support.


08 Mar - Seasons Expansion Plans. The Herald reports that the owners of the 4 Seasons Brasserie want to extend it to a unit next door. The unit, formerly Magenta and currently empty, will become part of 4 Seasons and be open from 9am-9pm. The application will be considered by EBC planners.


08 Mar - Beach Work Update - From Ian Thomas, Project Manager Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd There has been enough wind in the last week or so to push surplus shingle right up against Sovereign Harbour’s southern breakwater. In order to reduce the risk of this sediment getting into the outer harbour we will be undertaking a final week of bypassing for this winter starting on Monday 11 March and finishing on Friday 15 March. Working hours will be 07:30 to 17:30 each day.

With more gales to come this weekend and into the early part of next week, it is inevitable that a further round of recycling between Cooden and Sovereign Harbour will also be necessary, but this is unlikely to start before Monday 25 March.


Friday 08 Mar - Today is International Women's Day, when the achievements and struggles of women everywhere are acknowledged. Website...


05 Mar - Pedestrian lock access is closed today. Scheduled for Monday it was postponed until today (Tuesday).


03 Mar - Community Centre. If you look at the letter we sent to EBC (below), you will see we asked for a firm opening date. Their reply is..

"Dear John, Thank you for your letter dated 27th February.  I can confirm that we're currently taking bookings from local community groups who wish to make regular bookings. If you are aware of any local group that wants to make a regular booking, then please advise them to email Jim Chater (jim.chater@lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk). Jim is the Councils Sports  Manager. Regards etc."

The reply is quite unsatisfactory and we have gone back to EBC to ask them to actually answer the points raised in our letter.


28 Feb - Community Centre - SHRA has written to EBC about the delay in finishing the community centre building and opening it for use. Response awaited. Click to read our letter...


25 Feb - EBC Neighbourhood First, Litter Pick, 11am-1pm, Saturday 2nd March - Sovereign Park and the beach between Water Works and Skate Park. If you want to help clear up your local community please come along between 11am & 1pm. Bags and litter pickers will be provided but please bring your own gloves. See map here...


25 Feb - Garden Waste Collections - Time is running out to renew your garden waste collections for April 2019. Sign up through this link before Feb 28 to keep your collections going - renewal after the 28th may cause a delay in your permit arriving! https://buff.ly/2WFXTUF


24 Feb - Lock Access Closed Monday 4th March - Premier Marinas advise that the lock furthest from the marina office (the lock nearest to South Harbour) is being de-watered for annual maintenance commencing Monday 4th March. As a result, with the various cranes on site pedestrian access over the locks will be suspended all day. Alternative routes are available via the inner harbour foot paths. Premier apologises for the inconvenience.


21 Feb - Rentcharge changes requested. SHRA have written to the Sovereign Harbour Trust requesting that improvements be made to the rent-charge payment period, payment options and the details of the claimed expenditure. The board have replied saying they will consider our letter at their next quarterly board meeting on the 29th March. Click here to read our letter... Comments are welcome.


20 Feb - Beach Work Update - The higher set of February tides are now upon us, but with the forecast set fair, they should cause us no problems.

That being the case, the dumpers will continue to deliver shingle to Normans Bay East today and tomorrow, before they will finish working on Friday at Beachlands.

It is not impossible that we will get through March without a gale or two, but I suspect a further week of recycling might be necessary in March or April before we can safely say spring has arrived.  It is also likely that one further week of bypassing shingle round Sovereign Harbour will be carried out before the end of March.

All in all it has not been a bad winter thus far. We have had some substantial storms in March before, so it is by no means certain that winter is done and dusted just yet.

Ian Thomas
Project Manager
Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd


16 Feb - Retail Park and Cinema. SHRA have written to the retail park land owner, M&G Real Estates (part of Prudential plc), to ask when their approved revamp of the retail will take place, and to bemoan the loss of the cinema. We'll let you know how M&G respond. Click here to read our letter...


15 Feb - Cycle Strategy letter - We have published one more letter on this subject as its quite an entertaining one, but no more letters about cycling on the proms and walkways will be published until there are actual, confirmed proposals to comment on. Letters page...


13 Feb -Local Planning Application 190036 - Asda Store plan to replace the existing marquee at the rear of the store with a new enclosed warehouse extension, to relocate the service yard wall to provide space for a fireworks container, to create a coral for the reverse logistics, to relocate the compactor, to replace the existing wall to the BIBC with composite insulated wall, and with Armco barrier protection around the service yard. Details on the EBC planning web site.


11 Feb - South Coast Classic cycle road race coming to Eastbourne - Project Auster and Visit Eastbourne are excited to announce Eastbourne as the host venue for the inaugural South Coast Classic on 27-28 July 2019. 

The new elite cycling road race is one of only 10 races on the HSBC UK National Series and, as the only elite domestic race south of Leicester, will attract the UK's best riders to the region

The new elite cycling road race is one of only 10 races on the HSBC UK National Series and, as the only elite domestic race south of Leicester, will attract the UK's best riders to the region.

The South Coast Classic will form part of the re-established Eastbourne Cycling Festival which will provide a weekend of activities for the entire family.

The highlight of the Festival will be the South East Regional Youth Championships for the region's best under 16 riders.  As well as a full programme of amateur races, the weekend will include a Let's Ride event where families can ride their bikes on a closed road circuit. Further details to follow.


08 Feb - Wave Leisure confirmed as managers of the Sovereign Harbour Community Centre. See this article in the Eastbourne Herald. The article also states that the Community Centre is expected to open in the Spring. A couple of weeks ago they told us it would open on the 4th Feb. Who knows?


01 Feb - A Safe Cycling Strategy - two more letters on the subject published on our letters page...  6, 7 & 8 Feb three more response added..  12 Feb we have now reached the 'response to a response' stage.  I'm not inclined to publish any more on this subject until there are concrete (pun) proposals to discuss.


31 Jan - Waterlines Published - The February 2019 edition of SHRA's newsletter Waterlines can be downloaded from our Waterlines page... or from this direct link...


29 Jan - Fisherman's Quay Plans - SHRA representatives attended a presentation on plans for the new facility to be built on land, adjacent to the entrance to the West Harbour (behind the Harvester), presently occupied by the fishing fleet.  The development is planned in two stages; Stage 1 being the construction of a chiller, smoker and retail facility and Stage 2 a visitor centre. Planning permission has been gained. Funding has been secured for Stage 1 and grants are being sought for Stage 2.  Click here to view the plans...


29 Jan - New Sovereign Harbour Business Directory - coming soon, Harbour Pulse, hand delivered to your door. Advertising from as little as £40 for 3 months. Tel: 075395 33371 or 01323 478629  Email: harbourpulse@outlook.com  Click here for a flyer with further info... 


28 Jan- Asda Petrol Station Revamp - plans have been submitted to EBC for demolition of existing Asda petrol filling station (PFS) and drive to pay kiosks, and rebuild of a replacement automated six pump PFS with 12 filling positions, and erection of new jet wash area. Planning Application 190018. View plan (detail)...


26 Jan - At long last! The Sovereign Harbour Community Centre will open on February 4th. Bookings are now being taken on 01323 509859. Community Centre history and charges...


25 Jan - Safety on Sovereign Harbour Promenades. SHRA member Rick Runalls wants to alert residents to what he believes is a threat to safety on the Harbor Proms. You can read his article on our Letters page by clicking here . It will also appear in the February edition of Waterlines that will be published online next week. Please let Rick have your views on the matter and look out for the forthcoming consultation.


25 Jan - Sovereign Shines winners. Premier Marinas have supplied a list of the winners of the 2018 Sovereign Shines. Click here to view it...


18 Jan - Beachwork Update - from Ian Thomas, Project Manager, Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd "The few storms we have had since October have built shingle up against the southern breakwater of Sovereign Harbour. On Monday we will start one week of bypassing the surplus shingle round to the north harbour. No further plans have been made as Northerly winds seem set to dominate for the rest of the month. Best wishes, Ian"


17 Jan - Rentcharge Demand 2019. Although we doubt the legality of the Charge, we have to urge you to make the payment as failure to do so could have very serious consequences. As in previous years, we suggest you add the following statement when making payment:

 “Please note that my payment is made under protest and that my sending it is not to be interpreted as confirmation of my satisfaction with, or acceptance of the validity, of the current invoice or its level. My payment is made without prejudice to any action taken, or assertions made by me or by others on my behalf, at any time.”

SHRA continues to research and work on the rentcharge issue, but for the moment this work has to remain confidential. We published a little more background information on page 5 of our 2018 Annual Report. Click here to read it...


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